Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring into Spring with a Natural Glow from Jergens!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyJergensGlow #CollectiveBias

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This year marks our fifth wedding anniversary and we want to do something special to celebrate. We’ve talked about different ideas and places to go and Matt has something in the works that he’s keeping a secret, but he did share that it will be warm and I’ll need my swimsuit. Swimsuit. That word makes me quiver in my boots. First things first, I’m going to need a tan! I love having a natural looking glow without the hours in the sun or time in a booth. Having a nice glow boosts my confidence, helps to hide blemishes, and keeps me ready for sunny days and short hemlines.

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I like to use JERGENS® Natural Glow® 3 Days to Glow™ Moisturizer and JERGENS® Natural Glow® Daily Moisturizer as part of my nightly and morning routines. The JERGENS® Natural Glow® 3 Days to Glow™ Moisturizer gives me the perfect natural looking color quickly and it’s perfect if you have an event coming up. Even just a single use gives you a beautiful color shade. The JERGENS® Natural Glow® Daily Moisturizer helps to maintain that glow, I especially love it to maintain any color from vacation as well. I swear it helps to keep a tan for an extra 10 days or more!

I’ve been using JERGENS® Natural Glow® products since college to help me get and keep some summer color. I love the scent, it’s not strong, but smells good and their products always leave me streak free with a nice even color. I have a really easy routine I use daily/weekly that I’m sharing in today’s post!

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- First, exfoliate using a loofah or exfoliating gloves
- Apply the JERGENS® Natural Glow® 3 Days to Glow™ Moisturizer in a circular motion to ensure an even application

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- Focus on your large body parts and use the leftover lotion on your hands for the rough patches such as your knees, ankles, and elbows
- A great tip for those rough patches is to mix 50/50 glow moisturizer and regular lotion for these areas
- After 3 days of application you'll have beautiful color and can then use the JERGENS® Natural Glow® Daily Moisturizer every day or every other day to keep your tan

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I do this routine every night after my shower and then wait for the lotion to set while I do my nightly beauty routine and then hop right into my all white bedding without any color transfer! You can find the JERGENS® Natural Glow® products in the cream aisle at Wal-Mart!

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How do you prepare for a summer tan?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

OOTD: Date Night Look + Some Honest Truths

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So, I totally realize that my only pose is with a hand on my hip, but that's all I have folks. I'm not a model or a major blogger, so I'll just have the hubs snap pics on my iPhone in front of our garage for now instead of going to a location and fake walking. Nothing against those bloggers, I love them, follow them, and buy all the crap they're selling, I'm just not that talented. Or have the time. Or a husband that is willing to take pics. Most of the time I have to twist his arm. 

Want to know where I wore this pretty little ditty? No where. It's just for the pics because I bought it last month and it's been sitting in my closet mocking me. I'm dying to wear it out for a date with my main squeeze, but we haven't had the time. We have sitters lined up and we're gonna go out next month. So I've been eyeing this top and dreaming about how I'm gonna wear it so I was doing my makeup and putting stuff away and decided to try it on and put a look together.

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This lipstick is a total impulse buy during a 2am nursing session. Well, afterwards actually, because I was wide awake and went down a total rabbit hole of MAC lipstick. I was looking online, on Pinterest, making collages comparing swatches found on Pinterest. Hot mess express people. I'm sure that's not normal. I also have my eye on Flocking Fabulous and Please me. I'm also fully aware that I need another pink lipstick like I need a hole in my head.

That's my honest truths ladies. I wore this outfit solely for this post because I'm dying to wear it and I'm sick of looking at it hanging up. I can't pose to save my life and I'm a pink lipstick addict that mulls over lipstick shades like a crazy woman.

Hope you're having a fantastic week! What's something silly that makes you a crazy lady?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Think Happy Be Happy Link-Up

"Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is." -Mandy Hale

Hello friends! This link party was created as a way to create some inspiration and happiness as we begin our week. It can be hard to find the happiness in our day to day, and I believe it truly does help to take a second to find the positive. Please take a second to visit all of my wonderful co-hosts who will be sharing this link party as well!
I've always been a firm believer that happiness is a choice and I'm naturally a positive person, but this year has had a rough start for us. It was just one thing after another for us and I felt like I just couldn't catch a break! Sickness, daycare issues, work shortcomings, repeat. At the end of February, I was beginning to get worn down by everything. I could feel that negative feeling slowly creep over me and I really didn't want to go down that road. That dark, sad road that is so much harder to travel back from than it is to stroll down. Negative Nelly is not a part of who I am, it doesn't go with my personal belief system, and I felt like I had to strap on my boots and take charge. I wanted to wallow in my pity party, but how would the rest of the year fall if I kept this perspective? 

A pep talk and some prayer is all I needed to turn around my attitude. Would things get better? Maybe. Could more things happen? Of course! But how would a terrible attitude and poor perspective help me and my family face our challenges? I prayed and prayed. Not that our problems would go away (that would be nice, but it's not very practical), but that I would have the strength to take them on head first. That I could commit myself to be an example to my children, to communicate with my husband, and see the opportunities that would present themselves. I've been dealt a bad hand before, I just needed to play my cards right. 

Nothing crazy or even Facebook status worthy happened to me to make our problems go away, but it's such a wonder what a change in perspective can do for you. Sometimes, you just need to buck up. It's as simple as that. Take a long, ugly cry in the shower and leave it there. Take on the new day with a smile and a bold lipstick. 

  Think Happy Be Happy Link Party  

Rules of the Party:

  • Leave a link to your actual post and not your homepage. A link back to your host, is greatly appreciated. Feel free to grab our link party button to add to your post.
  • Please link up only your happiness related posts.
  • Don’t link up and run, please visit other bloggers. Make new friends or say hello to old friends.
  • Please follow your hosts and guest hosts in some way.
  • Have fun with your posts! I truly hope it helps with starting your week off on a positive note!
This link party was created as a way to create some inspiration and happiness as we begin our week. It can be hard to find the happiness in our day to day, and I believe it truly does help to take a second to find the positive.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What to Pack for Daycare- For your Newborn and Toddler

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SnugHugs

Returning to work and sending your child to daycare can be a crazy emotional ride. Even when you’ve been back to work for a while and are switching care providers, it is filled with so much anxiety! We recently started a new daycare this last month and after scouting, vetting, and interviewing several places, the night before the girls started I was still filled with so much anxiety. Will they like their new environment? Will my children thrive there? Will they get enough attention? Will they make new friends? Will their teachers love them? Leaving your child with anyone can be heart wrenching, especially when it’s the first time! Since we just made this change, I thought I would share some tips on making this an easy transition for you and your child.

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Before making our decision, Matt and I have done the following with each daycare we've chosen. We've been at four daycares, which is more than I would like, but with seasonal changes (our first did only the school year and took summer off), and with the move, we've been through it time and again and I think we've learned more each change. Below is what we've done to help choose and transition a daycare, but it may not work for everyone. It's just some suggestions to help the transitions. 

- Matt and I checked out the daycares by ourselves first, and then later brought the girls with us to our top choices. I wanted the girls and their teachers to get to know each other a little bit before starting and without any distractions. Then we brought the girls during daycare hours to meet their classmates and observe and check out the class and its settings.

- If possible, see if you can take your children there for a half day a few days before starting, that way it’s not all brand new on their first full day. Having your children stay for a little bit of time, without you there with them, can help ease them into their new surroundings

- Front load, front load, front load. Children do so much better when they are introduced to something ahead of time and know what to expect. This strategy works great for Ellie- anytime we do something new that we worry about her reaction, we talk about what we’re doing, what will happen, and what to expect. For example, when we were having a baby we read lots of big sister books, practiced holding and being careful with babies using her dolls, explained that I would be holding the baby a lot and the baby will be sleeping in our room, etc. That way, it’s not too much of a shock to her when the event comes. For her new daycare, we talked about her new routine, what she’ll be doing in her class, etc. The first day had a bit of a rough start, but there weren’t any tears the rest of the week!

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Here is a list of items I send with the girls to help make them feel comfortable and help them in a routine. Each daycare provider offers different things for your children, so your list may be different, mine has changed with each place and as they have grown.

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-They’re own bedding
My girls have sensitive skin (especially little Emma!) so I do prefer for them to sleep on bedding washed with our soap since I know it doesn’t irritate them, but another benefit is that it will smell like home! It will be comforting for them to have a familiar scent in a new place. I drop off a new sheet and blanket every Monday and take it home to wash each Friday.

- Stuffed animal/doll/toy
If your child is attached to anything or prefers something like a paci, teether, lovie, etc. be sure to pack it! It will help them feel at home and will make nap time easier for them. Our new daycare has lots of toys and entertainment for the girls, but if Emma is especially fond of a teether, I’ll bring it in. Ellie has a small baby doll she keeps at school just for nap time too. 

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- Diapers / Wipes / Rash Cream

I've talked about this before, but we are a Huggies household. They fit the best for both of our girls and provide up to 12 hours of protection and keep baby's skin nice and dry. We also always buy our Huggies Snug & Dry in bulk, you save over $10 buying that way and the bulk box comes in three large packs that's easy to divvy up between home and daycare. There's also a Huggies Snug & Dry Ibotta offer starting today (3/9) for $7 off at Sam's club! We bring wipes and rash cream too to keep there. We buy wipes in bulk as well and drop off a box and large pack as needed. At our current daycare, we had to fill out a medication form for the diaper rash, but I want Emma to have what works best for her skin.

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- Bottles / Cup / Food / Bibs
Every day I pack a lunch for both girls, but also keep rice cereal there for Emma. I make sure Emma has enough bottles of breastmilk each day and keep frozen milk there for an extra bottle, just in case. I also pack bibs at the start of each week and bring the used ones home each day. A bowl/spoon may be needed too for your baby's food.

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- Change of clothes
Each girl has two changes of clothes that we keep at daycare. Two sets of tops, pants, undies for Ellie, and socks. I also keep a long sleeve jacket/shirt for each girl as well. I pack them in a large Ziplock with their names on each one.

Other tips are to label everything of your child's- it's easy to get mixed up with others and lost. If it's plastic, I write their names on it and for fabric, I just put their initials on the tags. Also, if possible, drop off the items that you'll be keeping there permanently or for the week before your first day. I also pack everything we need the night before.

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Be sure to check out the Huggies Snug & Dry Ibotta offer starting today (3/9) for $7 off at Sam's club! 

That's everything we pack each week for the girls! Their new daycare is amazing and I'm so happy for their new environment, it's exactly what the girls needed and we've really enjoyed it. It doesn't get easier to make changes, but knowing your child is being well attended too eases the mind. I like to think that I've packed them for anything and are ready for all the fun. What do you pack for your little ones? What do you do to help make it easier?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

10 Things I Always Tell My Children

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Becoming a mother is one job I've always wanted. Playing house was my favorite game, I loved watching kids, I had to hold every baby I met, and I couldn't wait to join the sweet inner circle of motherhood. I've always read a lot of articles about parenthood, even while in high school. I just wanted to do it "right", to do the best that I could to give my children the best of me. I'm in no way a perfect parent and I never will be, but I hope to give my children what they need from me. I think it's important to be intentional and I think a lot about the words I use when I talk to my girls, what messages I want to share with them, what actions I can take to guide them, love them, build their self-esteem, and teach them. There's so, so, so many things I want for my children, it's truly and endless list, but these 10 phrases below are something I tell them often. 

1. I love you
This is a given for any parent, but I make sure to tell them every single day, multiple times. I want to ensure my children know that I will love them no matter what. No matter their choices, their lifestyle, or anything I will always love them unconditionally. I never want them to think that something they choose to do will make me love them any less or that they can’t come with me with a problem. I will always love them and I want them to know that.

2. Don’t give up, keep trying!
When Eleanor first starts something, she can get frustrated that it’s not right or she can’t do it right away. I always encourage her to keep trying to keep going and she’ll eventually get it. Life is hard, and I want my children to be able to face their challenges and not be discouraged if it’s not right the first time.

3. Please / Thank you
Not only do I want to teach my children manners, but I want them to speak with respect and kindness. I don’t want them to expect things to be given or done for them, but to ask politely and to show appreciation to others.

4. I’m sorry / I forgive you
Everyone makes mistakes, I’m not a perfect person, friend, wife, or mother. If I’ve done something wrong, I want to make it right, especially to those I love. When my patience is short, when I raise my voice, I talk to my girls. I’ve apologized and talked to them and when the situation is the other way around, I talk to them about their actions. They’re little, but they’re smart. They know and understand so much more than what they can verbalize.

5. It’s ok to feel ____
One lesson I’m trying to teach Ellie is that she is in control of her actions and her emotions do not control her. How she feels is important, and it’s ok for her to feel any emotion she is feeling. I want her to know that how she feels is important to me and she doesn’t need to be sorry that she feels one way or another. When she’s had a tantrum, I’ve told her “It’s ok to be mad. It’s ok to be mad at mommy. It’s not okay to yell.” We’re practicing positive ways to express herself. It’s a lesson I’m sure will take years to learn and she’s not going to master it in her toddler years, but I want her to know that how she feels is valid and to be able to make the right decisions and actions for each situation instead of letting her emotions control her.

6. I’m proud of you
Telling your child that you're proud of them boosts their confidence, lets them feel loved, and it's so easy to do! "You're an amazing sister!", "You did that so fast, that's awesome!", "You did a great job sharing today at play time!". Look for the good and you'll find it! When we've had a great day together, and we're talking over dinner time, I'm always sure to brag to my husband about what great thing we did that day- showing kindness, good listening, obeying, etc. Her face just lights up and she gets the biggest smile. 

7. It’s your choice
We give Ellie a several choices to make each day so she can learn to make decisions on her own and to feel empowered. We do a lot of “this or that” and “if, then” questions. We also follow through with consequences when she makes the wrong decision. We do this to teach her to take responsibility for her actions and to build her confidence in decision making. It might seem like a lot for a toddler, but these questions at this time mostly refer to clothing and food choices.

8. You’re beautiful
Children have so many wonderful, amazing qualities and abilities, and there's so much we want to teach them, and one of those things I want to teach my children is that they're beautiful. I think they're absolutely perfect in every way and I want them to feel confident about their looks and their bodies. The world can be full of so much judgment and as girls they're subject to so much ridicule, looks aren't everything, but I want them to have a positive opinion of themselves. 

9. I trust you
Trust is a foundation to all relationships and you start building trust with you baby as soon as they're born. When they cry, they're trusting you to meet their needs, whether that's to be picked up and soothed, fed, or changed. When you drop them off at daycare in the mornings, they're trusting that you will come back to get them! They look for follow through on promises (or threats) and trust in your word. It also goes the other way, I want my children to know that I trust them too. By trusting in your children, they learn to trust themselves, their inner voice, their intuition, and I want to nurture and strengthen that. Of course my children will make decisions I don't agree with, but I trust that they're continuing to grow and develop and when they're older, no one will know them better than they know themselves. 

10. I’m listening
Each day when we get home from work and over the dinner table we ask Eleanor about her day. When she’s upset or has thrown a tantrum, once she calms down we talk to her about whatever it was that upset her. I often tell her “I’m listening” and “tell me more” so that she knows that I care and that what she has to say is important to me. It give her an opportunity to share her thoughts and feelings and also teaches her the importance of listening.

What are some things you're sure to tell your children? What messages are important to you to teach? I love hearing what other families say and teach, there's so much to learn and new things to do! Please share below!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Product Review: Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette

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Another palette win with Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette! This is my first blush palette and I am seeing stars! It’s nothing short of beautiful and has something for every day. If you missed my UD Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette review, I mentioned that I was in the market for a new eyeshadow palette and a makeup artist suggested I check out the Gwen Stefani collaboration. She also mentioned, that the blush palette was amazing and I needed to have it too. So as I wandered over to check it out, she couldn’t have been more right! I wasn’t in the market for a blush palette, but thought the colors in the Gwen Stefani palette were gorgeous! I immediately fell in love with Easy (a deep rose with gold shimmer, middle top row), it’s a beautiful shade and I loved the flush look it would give. I didn’t think I needed the palette, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it at the same time.

That night, Matt and I had dinner reservations by the mall and had some time before so I ran into Macy’s to check it out again. I loved the palette, but again, Easy was so pretty and really stood out to me so I asked if it was exclusive to the palette or if it was a permanent shade that was renamed for the collaboration and it was an exclusive color. Their makeup girl was so sweet and she was just raving about how great it was and that she had to apply some on me so I could see for myself. She did and I was sold!

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All of the colors are new to Urban Decay and are exclusive to the Gwen Stefani palette. In total there are six 0.09 oz shades- four blushes: Cherry (light pink satin), Easy (deep rose with gold shimmer), Angel (champagne-nude shimmer), and Hush (medium pink with gold shimmer), a bronzer Lo-Fi (soft bronze matte), and a highlighter in OC (soft pink with peach shift). The colors are very pigmented and you need to dust off the brush before application. They blend really beautifully and layer very well together.

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Typically, I use Easy as my blush with a bit of Hush layered on top and Angel as a highlighter. Angel is a perfect highlighter and looks lovely down the bridge of your nose. For me, OC is much better as a blush than as I highlighter and looks beautiful with Angel layered as a highlighter on top. Cherry looks much more pale pink in the pot than in real life and gives a very subtle, natural pink hue to the cheek. All of the colors have shimmer, except the bronzer, so if you’re not into shimmery blush, this is not the palette for you. I personally love shimmer for blush, but it’s not a must-have for me. I’ll usually layer a shimmery highlighter over my blush anyways so it’s not a deciding factor for my blush choices. The only color I don’t really care for is the bronzer- it has too much of an undertone for me to use it as a bronzer and is better as a blush for my skintone.

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My final thoughts on the blush palette is that the value is definitely there for the set, I use five of the six shades regularly and if you’re into blush or are looking for a nice range of blushes and highlighters, I would definitely recommend the palette. It doesn’t offer a wide variety of shades or finishes, so if you’re looking for something more versatile I would skip this. I’m very happy with my purchase and I think it complements the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette beautifully, but you don’t need to purchase both to be satisfied. I love the entire collaboration so far, they sent me some samples of the lipsticks so don't be surprised if you see a review for that coming up too!